MANILA (Mabuhay) — Former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal A
rroyo is in favor of granting President-elect Rodrigo Duterte additional powers to deal with the deteriorating traffic situation in Metro Manila.
Arroyo is set to file a bill seeking emergency powers for Duterte in the 17th Congress.
The explanatory note of the bill said the current traffic congestion in Metro Manila “impedes progress and leads to a situation where billions are lost daily in fuel cost, man hours and opportunities.”
With additional powers, the explanatory note said the Duterte government could speed up the completion of infrastructure projects and introduce drastic traffic reduction measures in order to achieve its annual growth rate target of at least 7 percent.
If Congress approves the bill, Duterte would be allowed to:
– negotiate contracts for the construction, repair, rehabilitation, improvement or maintenance of critical infrastructure, projects and facilities subject to certain conditions;
– authorize, whenever it is necessary for the national welfare and in the public interest, to set a maximum internal rate of return of not more than twelve per centum (12%) of the house-estimated project cost. Provided, That any infrastructure project that has the capacity to yield said internal rate of return under commercial conditions may be undertaken on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis or any of its variants as enumerated in Section 2 of Republic Act 7718; Provided, further, that the toll fees in the case of projects undertaken as BOT or any of its variants shall be set by the Toll Regulatory Board; and
– reorganize the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), to make it more effective, innovative and responsive to the traffic crisis in Metro Manila.
The proposed law would also task the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to set aside ten percentum of its annual aggregate gross earnings for the next five years as subsidy to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The emergency powers of Duterte shall be effective for two years, the explanatory note read.
An oversight committee the Senate and House of Representatives will be created to monitor the implementation of the additional powers.(MNS)